I was just watching ESPN's Opening Day coverage of the Braves-Dodgers game, and the conversation between commentator Erik Karros (wasn't he Rookie of the Year like 5 years ago?) and Rick Sutcliffe turned to steroids. Karros couldn't contain himself. He blustered and rambled for a while, criticizing those who demanded an investigation, and basically rehashed Mark McGwire's non-denial denial to a Senate sub-committee: Steroids were abused in the past; the league has adopted a stricter policy; let's all move on. The message was unoriginal — a lot of current players don't want to dwell on this unsavory development — but the air of defensiveness mixed with disdain seemed oddly reminscent of another guilty, defiant person — Donald Rumsfeld.Anyway, over the past couple of days, I tore through Game of Shadows, the recently published steroids expose by Mark Fainaru-Wada and Lance Williams. After a month of PR build-up and published excerpts, there weren't many surprises:
- Bonds availed himself of steroids. One might say, a buttload of steroids.
- So did Marion Jones.
- They're both liars.
- So are a lot of professional athletes.
Bonds is the big story in Game of Shadows. If you couldn't already tell by his cartoonishly swollen neck/head and his late-career power explosion, Bonds hasn't been playing fair. He admitted to a grand jury that he allowed his trainer (a known juicer) to place droplets of an "unknown" chemical under his tongue, and to rub an "unknown" cream on his joints. Bonds thought that these were legal supplements — the drops were "flaxseed oil" — yeah, he actually said that — and he implied that he'd never injected anything. Uh-huh, yeah. I'm a fan of the flaxseed oil, and I can testify that it doesn't make your head become like 5x bigger. Plus, Bonds has always been a control freak. Is it even remotely possible that he didn't bother finding out what his trainer was sticking in his mouth?The book reveals the Bonds was on a steroid regimen that included more than "flaxseed oil," making it seem even more likely that Bonds perjured himself in front of the grand jury. Sources close to him indicate that he was on all sorts of injectable crap, including Decadurabolin (in the butt) and human growth hormone (in the stomach). He wanted us to believe that it was all free weights and sprints and vitamins, but it makes a little more sense that there was some secret sauce in the mix.A personal note: Barry, dude, seriously. Just freakin admit it. You're like a little kid sitting in a pile of cookie crumbs, crying and claiming that you didn't eat any cookies. It's undignified, really. Say "I took steroids because I wanted to win, because everyone else was, because it's what I had to do." Fans understand competitiveness, and you're a competitive guy, and steroids weren't against the rules anyway. So just fess up, you big baby. At some point, you could even ask for our forgiveness. I mean, it's possible. You always claim that you're not given the respect you deserve. Here's your chance to earn it.